It is rare for a dance festival to carry a name that matches its essence to the same degree as Tanzwerkstatt Europa. This Munich-based workshop-festival was founded in 1991 by dance enthusiast and programmer Walter Heun and by the production company Joint Adventures. Over more than thirty years Tanzwerkstatt Europa has grown to become the largest and by far the oldest contemporary dance event in southern Germany and has attracted dance professionals and choreographers from across the globe along with a loyal Munich public. This year, Tanzwerkstatt Europa has yet again walked along two parallel, yet intertwined paths: a three-week programme of lectures, classes and workshops for dance professionals and performers; and a two-week melting pot of performances, film screenings, discussions and even picnics, open to all.
Heun fittingly describes Tanzwerkstatt Europa as ‘a workshop of new ideas and aesthetics in contemporary dance’. So it is difficult to boil down the festival’s programming choices to a single idea or slogan, unlike some other dance festivals. Heun says that he seeks quality of artistic and aesthetic material first and foremost; whether or not a particular artist pursues specific political agendas or tunes into socially charged topics has never been a selection criterion as such. Each year, Heun strives to devise a patchwork programme of ‘what’s in the air in the young contemporary dance scene’. The 2022 edition of Tanzwerkstatt Europa hosted by Muffathalle and Schwere Reiter is no exception. Despite a great variety of dance techniques, what all the festival shows have in common is the rigour of even the slightest movement and the utmost precision of each gesture.